Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


NZ’s ‘PISA shock’ a signal for change

MEDIA RELEASE

NZ’s ‘PISA shock’ a signal for change

• NZ student performance drops in maths, science, and reading.
• One in five not equipped with skills needed to participate in the workforce.
• First major drop in performance ever.
• Teachers key to lifting Pisa performance

Wellington (4 December) - New Zealand’s sudden drop in the international education rankings is a clear signal that the country needs to lift teacher quality if wants students to be able to participate in the modern workplace, said The New Zealand Initiative.

Compared to the 2009 results, 15 year olds saw their overall ranking in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) fall across the board, dropping from 7th to 13th in reading, 13th to 23rd in mathematics, and 7th to 18th in science.

Meanwhile, Shanghai, Singapore, and Hong Kong dominated the top three Pisa positions respectively, lifting or maintaining their performance in the core learning areas compared to the 2009 test.

However, the results showed a further improvement by Germany, a country that has made significant changes to its education systems after Pisa scores showed it was lagging behind in student achievement.

“This is our ‘Pisa shock’ moment,” said Rose Patterson, Research Fellow at the Initiative. “The same thing happened to Germany in 2000, and they took it as a signal to implement major reforms to their education system, a change that was not just backed, but led by the unions.”

“They’ve since lifted their performance, and are now ranked 16th in the world. We were well ahead of Germany three years ago. Now, they have surged ahead of us. Hopefully we can take a lesson from them and use this ‘Pisa shock’ as a catalyst to change the system for the better.”

Patterson, who recently completed a research tour of Singapore, Canada, Finland, England, and Germany, noted that one of the major differences between New Zealand and theses countries is a focus on teaching as a profession.

“Outside of the home, teachers are the single biggest factor that affects student performance,” said Rose Patterson, Education Research Fellow at the Initiative. “In countries like Singapore and Germany, they recognise the link between the status of the teachers and the ability to attract the best and brightest graduates to the profession.”

“If we want to lift our rankings in the next Pisa test, we need to see what teaching frameworks are in place among these top performing countries, and implement this best practice in New Zealand.”

The drop in New Zealand’s PISA performance last year is partly explained by Asia’s strong showing, but the level of achievement in the core areas also fell as well. Compared with 2009, reading dropped nine points, mathematics 19 points, and science 16 points.

Patterson said that while the overall figures were a concern, even more alarming was the ranking of students at the bottom end of the scale, with almost 23 per cent of all students in New Zealand performing at level 1 or below in mathematics, an increase of 7 percentage points on 2009.

“According to international research, what this means is that one out of every five students will struggle to get into a university, polytech or even function effectively in the workforce,” she said. “That’s very worrying in an increasingly competitive global economy, where a qualification is becoming a minimum requirement for entry into many careers.”

A similar trend was seen across science and reading, with the rankings reducing slightly from 2003 to 2009, and then dropping off sharply in 2012.

About the New Zealand Initiative

The New Zealand Initiative is an evidence-based think tank and research institute, which is supported by a membership organisation that counts some of the country’s leading visionaries, business leaders and political thinkers among its ranks.

Our members are committed to developing policies to make New Zealand a better country for all its citizens. We believe all New Zealanders deserve a world-class education system, affordable housing, a healthy environment, sound public finances and a stable currency.

The New Zealand Initiative pursues this goal by participating in public life, and making a contribution to public discussions.

For more information visit www.nzinitiative.org.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Howard Davis: Never Too Old To Rock & Roll - Jethro Tull

As Greil Marcus recently observed in an NYRB review of Robbie Robertson's autobiographical Testimony, in rock and roll there is always an origin story. In the case of Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson, he claims to have been influenced by his father's big band and jazz record collections and the emergence of rock music in the 1950s, but became disenchanted with the "show biz" style of early US stars like Elvis Presley... More>>

October: Alice Cooper Returns To NZ

It was March 1977 when Alice Cooper undertook his first ever concert tour of New Zealand – and broke attendance records. 40 years on and this revered entertainer continues to surprise and exude danger at every turn, thrilling audiences globally! More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: The Contemporary Relevance Of Denial

Denial has all the hallmarks of a riveting courtroom drama. Based on a 1996 British libel case that author David Irving brought against Lipstadt, the movie has been criticized as flat and stagey, but it nonetheless conveys a visceral clarity of vision and sense of overwhelming urgency. More>>

Obituary: John Clarke Dies Aged 68

Andrew Little: “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am devastated by John Clarke’s death. He taught us to laugh at ourselves and more importantly laugh at our politicians.” More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Colin McCahon's 'on Going Out With The Tide'

Curated by Wystan Curnow and Robert Leonard, On Going Out with the Tide features major works that have been assembled from public and private collections across New Zealand and Australia. It focusses on McCahon’s evolving engagement with Māori subjects and themes, ranging from early treatments of koru imagery to later history paintings which refer to Māori prophets and investigate land-rights issues. More>>

Howard Davis: Rodger Fox Gets Out The Funk

By now a living New Zealand legend, band leader and trombonist Rodger Fox has performed with some of the biggest names in the jazz business, including Louie Bellson, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley, Randy Crawford, Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Paulson, Diane Schuur, Arturo Sandoval, David Clayton-Thomas, and Joe Williams, to name only a few. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news